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The learned author has missed many aspects of Nepalese culture. The so called Virupakshya is described by him as a nobel man. If the author had studied more carefully he would not have missed the third eye indicating that the figure is one of the manifestations of Shiva and not a nobel man.
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Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
 
Ghandruk: A Socio-cultural Study
 
Introduction
Nepal is a small country, but within a short distance one will find different environment patterns, religions, languages, races, festivals. Nepal is the garden of different ethnic groups. People live with various interesting cultures. They are 60 ethnics1 groups,11 major languages and 70 dialects2 . One of the ethnic group is the Gurung. Gurung population is spread in Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung and Shyangja districts, Annapurna area and around the whole of the Gandaki zone. They are also found to have inhabited in different places throughout the Kingdom. Their origin is from the Mongoloid race. They are famous as a warrior and are addressed as the brave Gorkhas. Ghandruk, the subject matter of this article is a huge, compact village, two days walk from Pokhara. In Ghandruk , the majority of people are from Gurung community. They are famous for their unique culture. They are now very much well aware and conscious of eco-tourism. Annapurna area is located in west central Nepal and internationally well known for its formidable peaks. It preserves and contains some of the highest mountains on earth and the world's deepest gorge, namely, the Kali Gandaki gorge which is laid between the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Himalaya ranges. Ghandruk is situated in the southern slope of Annapurna Himalaya amid the western region of Nepal. This is also the entry point to both the Annapurna and Machhapuchre Himalayas . The mountain tourism in Nepal started in 1950. The first ascent over a 8000m peak was accomplished by Mourice Herzog on Mt. Annapurna . Since then ,Ghandruk has been a focal point and most popular area for trekking.
 
Geographical Location
Ghandruk Village Development Committee (VDC) lies betwen 280 12' 57" N - 280 15' north latitude and 830 59' 42" - 840 2' east longitude at a distance of a one day walk from Birethati. The altitude of the Ghandruk varies from 1,000 masl at Birethanti to 2,050 masl. The western slope of the Annapurna range on which the village is situated faces east and extends toward the bank of the Modi River. The VDC area stretches north to the Annapurna range and to Dansing and Sikha VDCs in the west, while Modi Dovan and Sondhi Khola lies in the sourth. The mountain tops from Ghandruk towards Ghorepani and from Ghorepani to Ulleri are covered with dense forests3 . Ghandruk village consists of seven small villages such as Kotgaun, Majhgaun, Dhyagoyargaun, Adbadaiyayargaun, Tallogaun, Dandagaun and Gairigaun
 
Origins
There are many legends about Gurung. We don't have written local language document. "The legend of the Rai and Limbus describes the origin of the mountain population of Nepal. A man coming from Tibet Manainua had ten sons; one of them, Gurupa, was the ancestor of the Gurungs4 ".
 
1. Dr. Ramesh Raj Kunwar, Ethnicity in South Asia, pg. no. 29.
2. Ibid, pg. no. 67.
3. Kamal Baskota and Bikash Sharma, Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the
Annapurna and Gorkha Region of Nepal, pg. no. 67.
4. Bernard Pignede, The Gurung, pg. no. 14.
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"The another legends derive the word "Gurung" the word Guru (Teacher) because the first Gurung was celebrated for his great wisdom and knowledge. Rai's and Limbu's legend were describe their origins from the mountain population of Nepal. A man came from Tibet named Manainue, who had two sons. One of them Gurupa, was the ancestor of the Gurung. The another Nepali legends link the origin of the Gurung to the assault of the Rajputs whose descendants founded the dynasty of the Thakurs reigning to this day in Nepal. One prince who belongs to dynasty of the Surjes was meditating in the Himalayas, accompanied by his wife, and by the family of his priest and that of his servant. They intermarried with the indigenous people. From these unions came the founders of the different Gurung clans. The another legend says that these Ghale came from the northern slope of the Himalayas and installed themselves on the southern slopes at Siklis, Ghandruk, Lamjung and Gorkha; they governed the country until the arrival of Princes from India. The marriage with the Ghale and the original inhabitants resulted in the clans of contemporary Gurung society "5.

According to W. Brook Northey and C.J. Morris using certain facts noted by Hamilton, Hodgson and Landon, attempted to reconstitute the conquest of west Nepal, and in particular the Gurung area, by the Rajputs abscond from Chitor after the capture of that town by the Mogul Emperor. The younger son of Marmath, installed at Ujjain, reached Nepal. He seems to have settled at Ridi (near the Palpa) among the Magars; then he went towards Bhirkot to the east of Ridi. There he had tow sons, Kancha and Minca. Then elder began his conquest of Magar territory, Minca established his rule at Nuwakot, Lamjung, and Tanhu, regions mainly inhabited by the Gurungs. One of his descendants, Jagdeva, who reigned towards the end of the 15th century at Nuwakot, had seven sons. The eldest succeeded him. The second, Kalu Sah, became king of Lamjung but soon assassinated. The inhabitants of the country, not having a king, asked Kulmandan, who governed Nuwakot and Kaski, to give them another of his sons to become their king. The youngest, Yasobrhma, was chosen and ruled in the country of Lamjung. He had two sons. The elder acceded the throne while the younger left for the conquest of Gorkha which he occupied in 1559. The descendants of the latter left in the 18th century for the conquest of Kathmandu and Gorkha king was successful in his aim and new page opened in the history of modern Nepal6 .

Sir R. L. Turner writes "it seems that the mongoloid populations (of which the Gurungs are part) came to Nepal comparatively recently, sattled on the southern slopes of the Himalayas, and then mixed with an older indigenous population".

According to Jag Mohan Gurung in his M. A. dissertation "The Gurung tribe is a product of the three mixed tribes, Minkunji, Ghale and Nochan".

Most of the Gurungs in Ghandruk believe that their ancestor might have came from Siklis, Gorkha and Lamjung district. But some of them don't accept this version. They believes that they are origin from Ghankruk where their ancestors were born. However, they are very happy to stay on the lap of the mountain.

 

5 Ibid, pg. no. 15.
6. Ibid.
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Socio-Demography
Among the ethnic groups in Ghandruk, the Gurung group is dominant accounting for 64, Magar, 4, occupational 28 and others 4 percent of the ethnic composition of households. Among the Gurung community in Ghandruk, the age group from less than 10 years 16.5, 10 - 65 years 80.5 and 65 and above 3.0 percent. Literacy and level of education of the household member aged 10 years above 36.9 percent are illiterate. Similarly, 13.5 percent can read and write, 12.6 percent having primary education, 23.4 having secondary education and SLC or above are 13.5 percent (Table - 1). The Gurung population involved in different economic activities are agriculture 48.7, service 3.6, pension 4.5, business 1, tourism 11.7, wage labour 1, student 17.1 and others 12.6 percent, respectively7 (Table - 2).
 
Table- 1: Literacy and Level of Education of the Household Members of Ghandruk Aged 10
Years and Above
 
Male
Female
Total
Illiterate 20.8% 51.7% 36.9%
Can read and write 17.0% 10.3% 13.5%
Primary education 17.0% 8.6% 12.6%
Secondary education 28.3% 19.0% 23.4%
SLC or above
17.0%
10.3% 13.5%
Total Cases 100%(53) 100% (58) 100% (111)
Sources: Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the Annapurna and Gorkha Region of Nepal (ICIMOD).
 

Table- 2: Distribution of Economically Active Population of Ghandruk (10 years and above) by
Occupation

Occupation Percentage
Agriculture 48.7
Service 3.6
Pension 4.5
Business 1.0
Tourism 11.7
Wage labour 1.0
Student 17.1
Others 12.6
Total 111 (100%)
Sources: Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the Annapurna and Gorkha Region of Nepal (ICIMOD).
 
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Social Structure

These Gurungs of Ghandruk are also divided into two main groups, known a "char jat" and "sorah jat." The "char jat" is considered to be higher and superior in their social status than " sorah jat". The cross - cousin marriage is very popular in Ghandruk but parallel - cousin marriage is not allowed.

7. Kamal Baskota and Bikash Sharma, Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the
Annapurna and Gorkha Region of Nepal, pg. no. 108/109.
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Architecture
In architecture people always use locally available materials. The people of Ghandruk make their house with stone , rock, mud, wood, cow - dung etc. These houses were made with slate and tin roofs and have two stories of which the upper storey is used for storage. The courtyards are found in the front side of house and were found very clean. There are water taps and sheds situated beside the house. Most of the houses have main door and the windows of the upper storey faced east and the height of the main door will be sort. Lighting rods, which looks like Trishul (Trident) are also found on most houses to protect them from the thunder. Every house has a parapet. They use the parapet for various activities such as rest, meeting people and gossiping. They also use it to carry their own a cottage Industry work and also use for dinning. In the ancient time why did Gurung people make their main door of most of the houses very low ? According to Min Bahadur Gurung there is a story behind this. The Gurung in those days believed in shamanism. If the house entrance height is low then it would be difficult for any one to enter the house without bending or bowing the head and there by evils would not be capable of bending their head and thus not enter the house from the gate while chasing people. Thus population of the low height main entrance-door existed due to the influence of this story. But these days the architecture has changed. But still one will find small main door houses in Sikles village which has still been preserved 8.
Family

The Gurungs of Ghandruk have a patrilineal society. They have both nuclear and joint families. But now a days people are staying in the nuclear family . A nuclear family synthesis of married couple and their unmarried children. In the joint family, people stay with their grandfather , grandmother, father, mother and their married son and their children. The son inherits all of their father appurtenances movable and immovable. When they become gaffer all the son equally inherit their parents appurtenances .

Birth Ceremony

Particular care is take during the pregnancy time. Before three months the husband stop having sexual intercourse with his wife. The women say that if you can feel the head of the foetus on the right, the child will be a boy, if it is in different side or on left it will be a girl. At the birth, the baby's body is washed and anointed with butter (ghee) or mustard oil. It is good to put a drop of this oil into each eye in order to give the child "keen sight". The umbilical cord is cut with a sickle or a Khukuri9 . The Gurungs do not allow the married daughter to give birth to a child in her natal home. This rescues her father from bad portent. This time her family does not worship god. On the third day of child birth there would be a ceremony of purification and the mother and child, after sprinkling with Gahout (cow's urine) they will be purified. When the male child grows to 2 - 5 years old, a tonsure ceremony is held. The relatives will offer benediction and gifts to the boy according to their capacity. The ceremony is celebrated having the boy's hair cut by his maternal uncle. If he doesn't have own maternal uncle (mama) then closest mama in relation would be chosen by astrologer and priest. After tonsuring a cap by putting on the boy's head by his family like wise for the girls when she reach the age of 5 - 13 years they would be "Gunio cholo" (a kind of clothes similar to blouse and scoots) . This function will be chosen on a particular day to in an odd year10 .

 
8. Diwas Dhakal, Ghandruk at a Glance, Nepal Travellers, pg. no. 66/67.
9. Bernard Pignede, The Gurung, pg. no. 215.
10. Diwas Dhakal, Ghandruk at a Glance, Nepal Travellers, pg. no. 67.
 
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Marriage Ceremony
Every households are monogamous, one man only marrying one women at a time. A man is very honestly attached to his wife and does want to share his affection between two women. For her part, the woman will not accept cohabitation with another woman if she has some children. If the husband wants to take another wife, the first will leave the household and divorce him. The Gurung of Ghandruk have their marriage system based on "clan exogamy and caste endogamy". This means one must marry outside of his clan and inside the caste (jat) . In the societies synthesis of two major groups (char jat or four clans) and minor group (sora jat or sixteen clans) .Ghale, Ghotane, Lama and Lamichane (char jat) and higher to the sora jat. In Ghandruk there is a system of patrilateral cross - cousin marriage but there is no system of polyandry and polygamy marriage but in sora jat Gurung marriage is preferred to continue the old marital relationship. The people of Ghandruk have arranged marriages. Parents have to be satisfied with their choice. If they are satisfied with their choice, they organise the engagement "Theki pisa". No one is allowed to get married with the lower crummy Jat but people now a days marry inter caste. Love marriage is also introduced in this area due to the cross cultural relation. Brother in law and son in law play essential role at the time of marriage and funeral ceremonies.
Death Rites
The funeral ceremony is performed in two ways during the initial mortuary rite and disposal of the body, which is called "misihari." The concluding memorial ceremony which is called "Arghun" or " pai " . The Lama (the priest) play the vital role to decide it. They decide with the help of their astrology whether the dead body is to be buried or cremated. The lama decides it by the position of planets. The death of a person, the bereft family restrain from salt and meat for 13 days. The son will give a fire to his dead father mouth and will shave the head hair, the beard mustard and eye brow. They are not allowed to touch dog and chicken. If there is any earlier death or mourning in 'Jajaman 's (employer of the priest) house then the Jhakri (wizard) performs the ceremony sitting at a nearest distance in the hut outside the home and pass the information to others with the help of drums. If there is the mourning in wizard's house then firstly he will perform his rites by worshipping "Si Failu" (God of Death) inside his home then only he will be permitted to perform other assignments by biting the drums in his court-yard only. Prior to the death procession the eldest daughter must loose her hair and the sect mark with charcoal placed on the forehead and Bhujatro (a kind of cloth) twisting in waist crossed-wise at an angle and perform the 'Kra Sa" (cleaning job) with the help of buttering the flower which are already kept on the dead body. In the death procession of the dead-person daughter has to walk by throwing the Lawa (puffed rice) following behind the Lama and then only sons will carry the dead body. Rest of the women have to follow the men's death procession. This rite is still there with some of the Gurung community.
 
 
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Festivals
The people celebrate Dashain, Maghesankranti, Tihar, Teej. Shreepanchami, Chaite Dashain, festival with full of joy. Some of them also celebrate Lhosar (new year). Besides these festivals, they also observe the popular Krishna charitro dance (about the story of Krishna merriment ) , Sorathi dance (about king merriment 'Lila') Ghanto dance (only unmarried girls can take part), Rhodi (the night club of boys and girls). But now these dances are gradually been vanishing.
Spiritual Leader (Jhakri)

The Gurung of Ghandruk is, by nature animistic and practitioner of shamanism (Dhami Jhakri). The spiritual leader of the village conducts the task of worship systematically and carefully. If he does not do the process properly, it is believed that the deity becomes angry and brings misfortune to the whole villagers creating various calamities like, landslide, snowfall, drought, starvation and the like. The spiritual leader for this reason should be very careful, alert and industrious during the process of worshipping of the Meshroom Barah.

When the spiritual leader manages every essential thing properly, then only he starts murmuring sacred mantras to satisfy the Barah. Taking considerable long period in his process of worshipping comes the process of sacrifice of sheep ad male goats. The spiritual leader himself sacrifices them with a long sword. After sacrificing, the goats and sheep, the fresh blood of each goats and sheep is sprinkled on the stone, which is worshipped as the Meshroom Barah. Rest of the blood is kept into the big vessel. After completing this process the Jhakri takes out seven piece of meat from each of the sacrificed goat. The piece includes blood, liver, heart, lung and kidneys. These pieces, in turn, are pierce through a bamboo stick to offer to Meshroom Barah. Then after the inner meat is cooked in a big vessel and eaten with great enthusiasm and merriment, like that in picnics. The breads are distributed among the whole mass of people. The little amount of which it carried for their rest family members who have to come to the "Than". The women are not allowed to enter into that particular spot because they are supposed to be filthy, unclean and "Maila" (filthy in Gurung language). As soon as the spiritual leader finishes the worship he carries some bread and head of all sacrificed goats and sheep. After the process of worship is observed and goats and sheep are sacrificed, every people return to their respective houses with the body of sacrificed goat and sheep. The meat of sacrificed goat and sheep is taken as prasad of that deity. The prasad is distributed among neighbour and their relatives. After all these performance are done the people take their meal. This is the example of perfect social relationship and understanding among them, which is unique custom in Gurung of Ghandruk. The worship of Meshroom Barah is also conducted by the village in a community level with the help of village development committee. The whole expense is done by the VDC. On this occasion, only one sheep or male goat is sacrificed by the spiritual leader (Jankri) which is known as the share of whole villagers. It is also a good example of harmony and good interrelationship among the Gurung in Ghandurk. They also follow and believe in Mahayan school of Buddhism. Beside that they also worship Hindu gods and goddesses.

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Religion

They worship Meshroom Baraha. The Meshroom Baraha is known as the guardian deity of the village. People believe that long time ago there was an unknown man who was famous in the village for his kind hearted personality. When he was dead his soul could not get reclamation because of his mistake which he had done in his life. It started roving around the village and began to tease the people and cattle. One day a wizard visioned secret of the fact and the people decided to set up a "Than" (temple) to place the ghost of that holy man on condition to offer the commodities of his wish. After the completion of the ceremony there is peace in the region. From that day people of Ghandruk started to worship of Meshroom Baraha and the people onwards continued this tradition since then. The materials of worship comprises a hurler full of water, rice flour, roce graom, copper lamp, flower especially pati (brownish non -florescence flower ), cow-dung, cow ghee, red vermilion, cow milk, money and colourful flags made of cloth. All these things are essential, if not the process of worship is not complete. Beside that they also worship the local deities like Ban Devi, Bai Katraykhola etc.

The Barah is worshipped in a sacred day that is on any Tuesday of Chaitra or Baishakha. It is a commonplace phenomenon to offer the deity at least one sheep or male goats accompanying with ten breads made from rice flour form each household. Every houses are smeared with the mixture of red clay and cow dung and the person participating in the worship of deity has to wear new and sacred dress on this occasion. One this day, ploughing of land is not done by general consciousness and religious anthomity also prohibits ploughing of land on this day and people do not start there long journey on this day. When the whole villagers gather in the premise of Meshroom Barah deity, the spiritual leader of the village begins chanting mantras and begins offering homage, which is believed to bring goodness and opulence to the whole village of Ghandruk.

The people of Ghandruk have great faith on Meshroom Barah. It is believed that Meshroom Barah controls every activity of Gurungs of Ghandruk; and saves the villagers from various types of catastrophes. It is even believed that Meshroom Barah creates a suitable environment for agricultural activities as well as the shifting of the 'Gotha" of the farmers from one place to another, it is believed that Meshroom Barah saves the people who have been abroad to acquire money and / or other activities, to gain social status as well as economic prosperity. People recruited in army have great faith on Meshroom Barah because they believe that Meshroom Barah saves their life during the time of war and conflicts. It is the cause of faith, which Gurungs have on Meshroom Baraha. The ex-army personnel Kajiman Gurung says that once when he was in the battlefields his troops were captured by Pakistani armies he suddenly remembered Meshroom Barah, for his life promising to donate a big bell should he be rescued from the fence of Pakistani soldier. Without wonder, he was able to overcome the fence of enemy immediately. When I asked about this

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occurrence he stressed that it is Meshroom Barah who freed him from the fence of Pakistani troops. From then on his faith to Meshroom Barah has further increased. Every year faithful former inhabitants of this village reported, come from either Pokhara or Kathmandu to pay homage to Meshroom Barah bringing with them the various types of gift. So it would thus be no wonder to say that Meshroom Barah is the guardian deity of Gurungs of Ghandruk.

There is also a common belief that if Meshroom Barah gets angry it will bring calamities in the peaceful living of people by creating many catastrophes like, landslide, drought, snowfall, floods, grain scarcity, etc. It is the reason why they don't like to annoy Meshroom Baraha and for the fear of which they take strict percussion during the worship.

Though Meshroom Barah is a famous deity of Gurungs of Ghandruk and though they have great faith on their pattern deity, modernisation has brought great change among the thinking of youngsters and these people, in turn, have dared to question the truthfulness and the real existence and authority of Meshroom Barah in recent days. The great faith which their father and forefather had on Meshroom Baraha has at present been questioned and it has been a subject of disgust of new generation, and on the country the subject of research to the researchers.

Dress and Ornaments
The people wear bhoto which is a white shirt with four knots tied in it. The white peace of soft - cloth known as kachhad fallen up to the knee is wrapped around the hip. Besides that they use a hand made gray strong crosses in front with two knots on the shoulder. It is used for carrying food and other light things. Its comfortable and they get benefit of both working and eating at the same time. It's called Bhangra or khandi. They also tie a khukuri in their waist. The culture is changing slowly with the influence of modernisation and the traditional dress and culture is gradually disappearing due to this change. The women of this community are very fond of dress and ornaments. Mostly they were necklaces, bead in the neck, nose-ring "Tuki", earrings, finger-rings, etc. While they are getting married they have to put on "Sribandi" in the head. But now a days culture is demolish. People preferred luxurious modern dresses and ornaments. The modernisation is, however, changing their unique culture.
The Different Economic Activities

The occupations of people are agriculture, animal husbandry, soldiery, cottage industry and tourism. According to the ICIMOD (1995) 48.7% of the population depend on agriculture. There are two types of land pakho (up land) and khet (low land).Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) approach for the people of this area is to encourage and strengthen traditional agricultural practices and at the same time, introduce new and appropriate technologies. Organic farming with the use of organic fertilisers and pesticides is the encouraged practices. Now in Ghandruk and in nearest village we will find in vegetable production , varieties of radish, spinach, butter bean, cauliflower, chilly, onion, garlic, broccoli, pea, okra, cucumber, bean, carrot etc. In agronomic crops maize, millet, paddy, soybean, ginger and potato. Cash crops are cardamom, coffee, pineapple, garlic and horticulture apple, papaya, walnut, mandarin, orange hybrid lime and local lime. In Ghandruk the main food of the people are maize, millet and rice. Rice is not grown there in large quantity. People prefer "Dhindo" (gnuel) and potato which is their main staple food. They use the meat of buffalo, goat, sheep and chicken. The alcohol spirit "raksi" and home made bear "chhyang" are used as welcome drink for their guest. During each and every festivals people use raksi and chhyang .Besides that they drink milk, curd after taking off the butter. Now a days tea has been very popular in Ghandruk.

 
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Animal Husbandry

In animal husbandry people tend sheep, Goat ,cow , buffalo, mule, ox , chicken. The main mode of transportation is by donkey/mule. The charge of mule is Rs. 60 per kilometres. During summer the cattle are shifted to the hill top (lek) in winter they are transferred up to Ghandruk. But now a days animal husbandry is not desired due un-economical return. But the people are following this husbandry as had been followed-on from the very beginning. However, it is noted that the price per buffalo is about Rs.12,000 to Rs. 15,000, the cow is about Rs. 10,000 - Rs. 12,000 and mule is in between Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 25,00011 . Average livestock holding by type of animals by the household is given in Table - 3.

Table - 3: Average Livestock Holding Type of Animals (LSU)

Cow 0.82
Ox 0.15
Buffalo 1.55
Goat 0.15
Sheep 0.42
Poultry 0.21
Total 3.61
Sources: Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the Annapurna and Gorkha Region of Nepal (ICIMOD).
 
11. Ibid. pg. no. 68/69
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Soldiery
Gurung are among the best warriors. Ghandruk is a home-land of brave Gorkhas. So, since the beginning, people are also being attracted towards the army life (soldiery) to earn extra income. Most of the Gurung are in the British and Indian army. They have also established a small scale cottage industry . This cottage industry is gradually picking-up and growing up in Ghandruk. They weave carpet, blanket etc. and sell to the visitors.
Tourism

Now a days tourism industry is growing in Ghandruk and it is the main income source of the inhabitants. It is from here one can see the best mountain views of Annapurna and Machhapuchre. The young local guys are attracted in this field and are getting employment as guides and potters. Both the male and female do pottering job. In 1998, 65,587 ( a total of 58.2% trekkers of Nepal) visitors visited Annapurna area. There are two types of trekkers. (1) Risk takers world view (his hesitation is lost.) (2)Risk Avoiders (look before you leave) .Ghandruk is very popular for Risk Avoiders. This area was popular since 1950 when Maurice Herzog reached on top of Mt. Annapurna. Herzog's book Annapurna (Jonathan Cape, London, 1952) remains a classic of mountaineering literature. It's indicative of how things have changed in Nepal that Herzog had trouble even finding his way to the mountain ! Today thousands of trekkers pass by the Annapurna every year and, where Herzog once had to search desperately for supply for his hungry climbers, there are now comfortable lodges offering bed and breakfast to trekkers. Most hotels and lodges are built in traditional ways. But nowadays some buildings and lodges are equipped with modern facilities. Previously the village architecture were in symmetrical order but now there has been architecture pollution.

Ghandruk is a model village of eco- tourism in the world. Ghandruk has received international awards for eco - tourism . Here the eco tourism means that involves travelling relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated nature areas with specific object of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals as well as any existing cultural areas in which the conservation of eco - systems and protection of biodiversity is aimed at, the desired types of tourists and tourism visit the protected area and the organisation and legislation of the tourism development support a sustainable tourism. Now a days the popular slogan of eco -tourism defines as environmentally and socially responsible tourism which minimises degradation of natural environment, cultures and socio - economic conditions and provides economic benefit to local people through employment and services.

Role of ACAP

Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) has played the role of a brain and bridge between the people and tourism in this region. .There is a homogeneous society in Gurungs of Ghandruk. So they assemble in one place to discuss how to attract the visitors, how to keep the place neat and clean and how to promote tourism. So every member of the village and their family will participate in the cleaning and bettering the place. Thereby the participants will get all the medicine, agricultural and other items in compensated cost from the community. ACAP has done a lot of activities. In Resource conservation they do like forest management, soil and water conservation , wild life management, training for local nursery workers, forest guards and leaders, promotion of alternative energy and fuel efficient technologies and restoration of sites of historical, cultural and archaeological importance. In the community development they do repair, improve and construct the schools, bridges and take care of general health and sanitation, health clinics, family planning, toilet, garbage pit , adult education, agro-forestry, agriculture extension through training and distribution of seedlings, etc. For tourism management they have managed to a local lodge, search and rescue; e.g. arrangement for an emergency rescue from helicopter evacuation for visitors, hotel and lodge management training courses for lodge operators, trekking guide training and eco -camp site development. Besides that for conservation education and extension programmes they do use mobile audio a visual aids to promote their programmes, educational materials, village clean up campaigns, natural history museum and visitor information services, environmental resource library and many other things. So ACAP has played a vital role to develop this area. On the other hand the people are also conscious and thus appreciate the one who have made their village (Ghandruk) a Paradise of the World of tourists and nature walkers.

 
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References:

Bankota, Kamal/Bikash Sharma. (1995). Tourism for Mountain Community Development Case Study Report on the Annapurna and Gorkha Regions of Nepal (Series No. MEI 95/11). Nepal: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Dhakal, Diwas. (1998). Nepal Traveller, Ghandruk at Glance, Kathmandu: Nepal Traveller.

Kunwar, Dr. Ramesh Raj. Ethnicity in South Asia. Kathmandu: Laxmi Kunwar.

Pignede, Bernard. (1993). The Gurungs. Nepal: Ratna Pustak Bhandar, Kathmanu.

Wheeler, Tony/Everist Richard. (1993). Nepal. Singapore: Lonely Planet Publication.

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  Untitled Document
 

Nepalese Culture, Society and Tourism
By: Diwas Dhakal

This book is a collection
of essays devoted to the
Nepalese Culture,Society and Tourism. A special
stress on Natural and
cultural Heritage of Nepal has been very carefully emphasised.
Diwas Dhakal, 2000 ISBN 99933-570-0-6,
First Edition 2000
Published by:
Mukta Dhakl
Read more
Contents:

Tourism in Nepal: A Critical Analysis

Ghandruk: A Socio-cultural Study

The Aqua Culture of Kathmandu

People, Nature and Wild Life in Makalu - Barun

Purnachandi Bhuja Jatra of Patan: A Protection from Lightening

Vajrayan Buddhism and Nepal

The Accumulate Stupa of Ramagrama

The Stupa of Boudhnath: A World Heritage Site

Pagoda Style Architecture and Nepal

Development of Architecture in Nepal

 
 
 
 
 
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